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Engineers Richard McAllan and Frederick Robinson manage to get financial backing for a gigantic project to build a tunnel from England to America. His biggest supporter is Varlia Lloyd, daughter of one of the backers, and she uses her influence more than once to keep the project going. Mack's wife Ruth is also supportive, although his constantly being away on the tunnel project strains their marriage, and affects his relationship with their son. After years of financial skulduggery and physical obstacles under the ocean floor, the tunnel proceeds as Mack's marriage and his friendship with Robbie deteriorate. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <email@example.com>
One of the plot elements that crops up in the movie is a volcanic area that the tunnelers run into about halfway across the Atlantic. This makes sense, as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a very active area. The neat part in relation to the movie is that while the existence of a "Ridge" on the seafloor was known at the time, it was not known that it was so active. It wasn't until the Heezen/Ewing/Tharp mapping of the ocean floor in the 1950s that people discovered that Seismic activity and "Seafloor Spreading" due to magma seepage were going on. That was about 20 years after the makers of the film surmised Magma pockets near the Mid-Atlantic. See more »
At the end of the opening credits, a card comes up with "Gaumont-British Picture Corpn. Ltd. were fortunate in securing the services of Mr. George Arliss and Mr. Walter Huston for the parts of Prime Minister of Great Britain and President of the United States." See more »
Quite similar to "Just Imagine" from 1930, where they try to give some insight into what the future will look like. Some cool inventions, like picture telephones, airplanes that can hover like the Osprey, and the "radium" tunnel drill. They even talk about the man who "built the Channel Tunnel in 1940" . Another viewer mentions that at the end, they saw cars driving into the tunnel, but I never saw that. I saw the 92 min, 40 sec version on TCM in March 2008, so it seems there's a minute or two missing from the TCM print. "Tunnel" stars Richard Dix and Leslie Banks, with various other co-stars. It combines the challenge of building a tunnel (where the shareholders keep pulling the financing) with a troubled family life. They even take a couple swipes at millionaires. George Arliss, star of the silents, appears as the British Prime Minister. The big shot shareholders take a minute to point out that the lead engineer is "just another employee, and he must remember that!" When he asked why they couldn't tell him what was wrong over the telephone, they insisted he come in person... I wondered if they were avoiding saying things over the air, but they don't indicate that (this was just prior to WW II) I also felt bad for the workers down in the tunnel -- heavy equipment is being pulled up on cable, but no-one is wearing hardhats. Fun to watch if you keep in mind that it was made in 1935. I could have done without the silly side portraits of the key characters at the last couple minutes, but someone must have felt that added something. Entertaining early science fiction.
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